Care of Calligraphy Supplies

Photo by Dzenina Lukac

Hello fellow calligraphy enthusiasts!

Today we are following our adventure into the calligraphy art form with how to care for the calligraphy supplies that are creating your artwork. There’s a uniquely comforting satisfaction we find in the art of calligraphy, isn’t there? In this increasingly digitized world, it’s a skill that feels personal, creative, and timeless. But, just like any other art form, maintaining the quality of your calligraphy supplies is integral to producing truly beautiful work. So, let’s roll up our sleeves and get into the nitty-gritty.

Understanding Your Calligraphy Supplies

Understanding the tools of your trade is the first step in preserving their lifespan and quality. The core components of a calligraphy toolkit typically include pens, inks, paper, and sometimes brushes. Each of these supplies has its unique set of characteristics, requirements, and therefore, their own respective care routines.

Different Types of Calligraphy Supplies

In calligraphy, the pen is mightier than… well, everything! Calligraphy pens, with their varying nibs, form the core of your supplies. In addition, different inks lend different shades and texture to your art. Calligraphy paper, known for its smooth finish and absorbent nature, provides the canvas for your creativity, while brushes can add a distinct, often Eastern, flair to your script.

Importance of Proper Care

I can’t emphasize enough the significance of caring for these tools. Without proper maintenance, your calligraphy experience can become unnecessarily frustrating, with poor tool performance hampering your artistic flow. Not to mention, a well-cared-for tool simply creates superior work. Let’s explore this further.

Care of Calligraphy Pens

Your calligraphy pens are the primary conduit for your creativity. From elegant strokes to the powerful expression of letters, the state of your pen influences it all. Therefore, keeping your pens in top shape is crucial.

Cleaning the Nibs

Nibs are susceptible to ink build-up, which can lead to poor ink flow and inconsistent lines. To avoid this, make sure to clean the nibs gently with lukewarm water and mild soap after each use. This prevents any leftover ink from drying up and clogging the nib or causing rust. Dry them carefully, preferably with a soft cloth to avoid any damage.

Storing Your Pens

Storing pens correctly is equally crucial. Keep your pens in a dry and cool place to avoid humidity-related issues like rusting. A dedicated pencil case or a desk organizer helps keep your pens secure and prevents physical damage.

Maintaining Your Inks

Inks add life, vibrancy, and personality to your calligraphy work. But, maintaining the quality of your inks can sometimes be tricky.

Proper Storage

Inks can dry out or change consistency if not stored properly. Always ensure that you store your ink bottles in a cool, dark place, away from direct sunlight or heat sources. This not only keeps the consistency right but also prevents the color from fading.

Keeping Inks Fresh

Don’t leave your ink bottle open for extended periods. The air exposure causes inks to dry out faster. Always close the lid tightly after use. If your ink does become thick or dry, add a drop or two of distilled water and stir it gently. This can revive the ink to its original consistency.

calligraphy supplies

Care of Calligraphy Paper

The quality of your paper significantly impacts the final outcome of your calligraphy. Taking good care of your calligraphy paper is hence, a no-brainer.

Proper Handling

Handling your calligraphy paper with clean, dry hands is of utmost importance. Sweat, dirt, or oils from your hands can cause stains or smudges on the paper. This not only affects the quality of your work but also reduces the lifespan of your paper.

Storage Solutions

Store your unused calligraphy paper in a dry place, away from sunlight. Sunlight can cause your paper to yellow over time, while moisture can cause it to warp or develop mold. Consider using a portfolio or an acid-free storage box for this purpose.

Care of Calligraphy Brushes

If your calligraphy style involves brushes, it’s essential to care for them appropriately, as they are often made from natural materials that require special attention.

Cleaning and Drying Brushes

After each use, clean your brushes thoroughly with water and a mild soap, ensuring no ink remains in the bristles. Allow them to dry completely before storing to prevent mold growth or unpleasant odor.

Storing Brushes

Unlike pens, brushes should ideally be stored flat or hanging upside down. This prevents the bristles from getting bent out of shape, ensuring smooth, uniform strokes in your calligraphy.

Importance of Regular Maintenance

Taking care of your calligraphy tools is not a one-time job. It requires consistency and commitment. Regular maintenance keeps your supplies in top condition and saves you from unexpected surprises during your art sessions. Always remember, a little effort can go a long way.

Addressing Common Issues

Every art form has its quirks and calligraphy is no exception. But, don’t worry, most common issues have simple solutions.

Dry Nibs

If you find your nibs are dry or scratchy, dipping them in warm water can help. It softens any hardened ink, restoring smooth ink flow.

Clogged Inks

Clogged inks can be quite a headache. If shaking the bottle doesn’t solve the issue, consider using a narrow object like a toothpick to gently stir the ink.

Torn Paper

If you’re facing issues with your paper tearing, it could be due to a rough nib or applying too much pressure. Regular nib cleaning and practicing a gentler hand can mitigate this issue.

Preserving Calligraphy Artwork

After you’ve poured your heart and soul into your calligraphy artwork, it’s essential to store it properly. Keep your finished pieces in a flat folder, preferably acid-free, away from direct sunlight, dust, and moisture. This helps to prevent yellowing, fading, and ensures the longevity of your work.


In the end, remember that taking care of your calligraphy supplies is not a daunting task. With a regular maintenance routine and a little love and care, your supplies will last longer, perform better, and continue to aid you in creating beautiful art. After all, we all want our creativity to shine through our art, not be overshadowed by tool troubles, right?


Q: How often should I clean my calligraphy pens?

A: It’s best to clean your calligraphy pens after each use. This prevents ink from drying and clogging the nib.

Q: Can I use any soap to clean my nibs?

A: A mild soap is recommended for cleaning nibs. Harsh detergents could potentially damage the nibs.

Q: My ink is drying out. What can I do?

A: You can add a drop or two of distilled water to your ink and gently stir it. It can help revive the consistency of your ink.

Q: How can I prevent my paper from yellowing?

A: Store your paper in a cool, dry place and avoid exposing it to direct sunlight.

Q: My brushes are losing their shape. What can I do?

A: Storing brushes either flat or hanging upside down helps maintain their shape. Make sure to clean and dry them thoroughly before storage.

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Louise Andrews

Hi. I am Louise Andrews, founder of Life & Crafts Journey. I am also a calligraphy enthusiast that loves the variety and elegance of the written fonts. I am sharing my knowledge collected for my own hobbies to encourage the passion of this art.

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